Juventus fined for Balotelli chant

MILAN - Juventus have been fined 20,000 euros after fans continually chanted an offensive song about Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli at the weekend, the Italian league said in statement on Tuesday.

Home supporters sang: "If you jump up and down, Balotelli will die" during Juve's 1-0 Serie A win over Udinese on Sunday.

A debate in Italy has been raging about whether the phrase is racist given Balotelli, born in Palermo, is black.

The league's disciplinary commissioner decided the new chant was "insulting and incites violence" but did not say it was racist.

Last season Juve were forced to play a game behind closed doors after fans chanted "a black Italian does not exist" at 19-year-old Balotelli in a match against Inter in Turin.

Juve fans have been singing the new chant for several months but with the top-of-the-table clash with leaders Inter coming up in two weeks, the authorities have now decided to fine the club.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho said on Monday he wanted the December 5 game to take place in Turin but reckoned there was a chance the match would be moved away because of the song.

Meanwhile, Inter right back Maicon will miss the Juve clash after being given a two-game suspension for being sent off for swearing at the referee in Saturday's 3-1 win at Bologna.

Bologna avoided sanction from the disciplinary commissioner despite media reports of isolated monkey chants from home fans towards Balotelli, who has angered rival fans and even his own coach with his abrasive attitude in the past two seasons.

The league also said Napoli's Leandro Rinaudo and Lazio's Julio Cruz have been banned for three games for fighting in Sunday's 0-0 draw in Naples.

Argentine Cruz bit Rinaudo's arm during the scuffle.